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Analyst says candidates' personal traits now come into play

Ivan Gašparovič's and Iveta Radičová's personal profiles will come into play during the second round of the presidential election, political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov told the TASR newswire on March 22.

Ivan Gašparovič's and Iveta Radičová's personal profiles will come into play during the second round of the presidential election, political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov told the TASR newswire on March 22.

According to Mesežnikov, who is the head of the Institute of Public Affairs, Prime Minister Robert Fico is likely to get involved in the campaign again and re-pledge his support for incumbent President Gašparovič.

“Apart from the prime minister, the personal traits of both candidates will play a more important role than in the first round, which was more marked by parties' support,” said Mesežnikov. He expects a highly interesting contest in the second round, as the two candidates have to define themselves only against each other.

His views coincided with those of most analysts who expect the head-to-head round to be more energetic and pointed than the first round.

Mesežnikov added that he was not particularly taken by surprise by the results of the first round of the voting. “I estimated the gap between Gašparovič and Radičová to be even smaller. It's a political defeat for the ruling coalition parties, which backed the incumbent president, as he didn't manage to get all their voters," said Mesežnikov. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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